Paleo Friendly&Fabulous
 
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Spaghetti Bolognese
Fall is in the air and for me that means cooking my ultimate favorite comfort food, Spaghetti Bolognese.

Usually it is a labor of love that takes 4 hours of simmering and reducing to extract as much flavor from
the ingredients so you get a very rich and meaty ragu.  In this Paleo Friendly&fabulous quick version, I’ve reduced the
cooking time to an hour and a half and I am doing away with the red wine, the 1 tablespoon of sugar I add to counteract the acidity of the tomatoes,  the cheese (parmigiano reggiano) and the heavy cream.  Instead I am using beef stock preferably homemade if you have the time to make it, organic no sugar added dates, nut cheese and almond milk as replacements.

My Bolognese sauce is a family favorite  so I was a bit worried  my husband would be able to notice a  difference in the flavor profile.  He had three helpings of this recipe and even enjoyed it with the spaghetti squash I served in place of pasta.  So here it is and hope you enjoy this pff and healthier version too.

Ingredients:
1 large onion, diced
2 large carrots, cut into ½ inch dice
3 ribs celery cut into 1 inch dice
4 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. EVOO for the pan
Kosher salt
1 lb. ground beef, 1 lb. ground veal, 1 lb. ground pork
1 1/2 cup tomato paste
3 cups beef broth, preferably home made or store bought no sugar added beef broth
3 bay leaves
1 bunch  fresh thyme tied in a bundle
¼ cup almond milk
½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 spaghetti  squash (see previous post on Pad Thai for roasting instructions)
Crumbled Nut Cheese (optional -  recipe below)
EVOO for finishing

Directions:
1. Make your sofrito by pureeing the onions, celery, carrots and garlic in a food processor.

 2. Heat a large pan over medium heat, coat pan with oil.  Add the sofrito and season generously with salt. Bring the pan to  medium-high heat and cook until all the water has evaporated and they become nice and brown, stirring
frequently, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Be patient, this is where the big flavors develop.

3. Add the ground meats and season again generously with salt. BROWN THE MEAT! Brown food tastes good!  Don't rush this step.  Cook another 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Add the tomato paste and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes.  Add 1 cup of the beef stock. Cook until the broth has reduced by half, another 4 to 5 minutes.

5. Toss in the bay leaves and the bundle of thyme and stir to combine everything. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  As the broth evaporates add another cup of beef stock, continue to simmer until the broth has
evaporated in half.  Add the final cup of beef stock,  mix and let it continue to simmer until most of the
liquid has evaporated.  This is where big rich flavors develop.  If you try to add all the stock in the beginning
you will have boiled meat sauce rather than a rich, thick meaty sauce. Stir and TASTE frequently. Season with salt, if needed (you probably will).  Simmer for 30-45 minutes.

6. Finish ragu with ¼ cup almond milk and some freshly grated nutmeg.  Stir to combine.  Serve
immediately on top of spaghetti squash or faux zucchini noodles.  Top with crumbled toasted nut
cheese.


Nut Cheese
Place 1 cup raw cashews in a bowl , add 4 cups water  and let soak for 6 hours covered.

Rinse cashews until water runs clear.  Place cashews in a food processor with 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp. sea
salt and ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil.  Puree until smooth and has the consistency of ricotta. 
You may need to add more lemon juice, salt to taste and olive oil until you get the right consistency.  It
should be spreadable.

Spread a thin layer of nut cheese on a baking sheet lined with a silicon mat and broil in the oven for 5 minutes or until it turns golden brown and dark brown at the edges.  You need to watch this so as not to burn the
cheese.

Let it cool for 15 minutes and crumble - use as topping in place of parmigiano reggiano